Saturday, December 3, 2016

Risen: A Novelization of the Movie


Bethany House publishers offers Risen by veteran author Angela Hunt, based on the story by Paul Aiello and the screenplay by Aiello and Kevin Reynolds.  If you prefer books to movies or want to experience both, enjoy!

This fictional story of a Roman soldier investigating the  "theft" of the body of Christ has enough historical accuracy to keep  the story credible and interesting to read.  Angela Hunt is a master crafter of historical fiction, and this novelization is no exception to her skills.

Enjoy the novel, then watch the movie as well.

I received a free review copy of the book from the publisher for my honest review.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Enhance Bible Study with a Bible Journaling Kit

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Personalize your Bible with color, with tabs, with notes in the margins--whatever helps you organize your thoughts and find the verses you need in the future.  This kit from Ellie Claire includes archival quality pen, twistable colored pencils, stickers and more, including a handy pouch to keep all these tools handy at your favorite reading and study spot.

To enter a drawing and possibly win your own kit, just enter here.  To buy a kit for yourself or for a gift, check out any of these vendors:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Christian Book Distributors


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Set Yourself Apart: Avoid Common Writing Mistakes

In the age of blogs and social media, bad writing is all too common. Thus, the person who writes well stands out from the crowd.  You can be such a person, as it is not difficult to avoid common writing mistakes. The following are some common mistakes, along with a suggested essay checker to make sure your formal writing is original as well as excellent in form.

Homonyms
In English there are a number of words which are spelled differently, yet pronounced the same (or nearly the same.)  Automatic spelling checkers will not catch homonym errors if you correctly spelled the wrong word.  Be sure to proofread your work carefully to avoid mistakes in commonly confused words such as: affect/effect, there/their/they’re, its/it’s, to/two/too, sow/sew/so.

Style
Avoid the use of slang and other elements common in casual communication.  Because of the abundance of media and the decline in formal dress and language, most writers today tend to be too casual in their more serious writing.  Writing for work or for school should be more formal.  At the same time, avoid the use of ostentatious language. Using big words when a smaller one will do impresses nobody.  Be yourself, but on your best behavior. Your writing may be read by strangers rather than your closest friends, so use a tone appropriate to meeting someone important (your reader) for the first time.  Show the reader you are polite, intelligent, and articulate.

Punctuation and Capitalization
Because people spend much time typing short text messages or casual email responses, they tend to forget about the attributes of a complete sentence.  Formal writing requires the use of complete sentences with subject and verb. Consult a good English composition textbook for a complete treatment of sentence structure.  Begin every sentence with a capital letter and end each sentence with a period, question mark, or, rarely, an exclamation point.  Be sure each sentence is a single complete thought.  Several different thoughts require several separate sentences.

Plagiarism
Of all possible writing mistakes, plagiarism is the most serious of all. Plagiarism is the use of another’s words as your own.  In other words, plagiarism is intellectual theft.  Whether inadvertent or deliberate, it is an offense taken seriously by teachers, professors, and the writers who have their words taken without permission.  If you have relied heavily on a particular resource for your essay or term paper, it is important to check your work to be sure you have properly cited the resources you used and have expressed ideas from that source in your own words, not merely copied the source while changing a few words.  Free essay checkers are available online to help you avoid plagiarism.

Using a free essay plagiarism checker is quick and easy. Just paste your essay or other writing into the checker.  It then uses algorithms to check word frequency and other variables against the internet and common databases.  If anything is flagged, you will be able to correct your work and be confident your finished writing is original.




Friday, September 16, 2016

Teachers and Parents: Tell Kids the Biggest Story!



If you teach older elementary students  or younger teens, Kevin DeYoung offers these resources based on his book, The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden.  Give your young Bible students an overview of history from Creation to Eternity.  Think of this as a fast-forward highlight reel of the Holy Bible with emphasis on the theme of sin/redemption and God's unfailing promises.

The animation is beautiful--artistic, not juvenile. The narration has music in the background to enhance the story and animation.  My only disappointment was the lack of close-captioning for the Deaf and hard of hearing. This means I likely will not add the DVD to my church library, to avoid disappointing our Deaf members, adults and children, who enjoy DVDs.

You can purchase your own copy of The Biggest Story or comment below to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book. Just comment by Friday, September 23!

Purchase links: The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film
                         The Biggest Story: The Audio Book


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Adorable Board Book about Baby!




This sturdy board book has a rhyming story and whimsical illustrations of babies doing all sorts of baby things.  At the end is a mirror and a place to write the name of a special baby God loves!

You can purchase your own copy of Baby, Baby!  or comment below to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book. Just comment by Friday, September 16!


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Hurt at Church: The Bridezilla of Christ

 buy this book

It is not uncommon for me to choose a book because the title is intriguing. That was certainly the case when I was offered a chance to review this title from Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin.  Anyone who has been in church for more than a few years knows that the Bride of Christ sometimes behaves more like a reality TV show than the scriptural model. Cliques, church splits, contentious business meetings--we can all relate to this topic.

This book is not, however, a gripe session with gossippy details about bad churches. This is a dialogue about how we as individual Christians need to behave in a community of sinners like ourselves. Saved people still sin, yet we are charged to be the Church and to show Christ to the world.  Kluck and Martin offer real help with this real problem that has been around as long as the Church itself.

This book is not too long and includes some humor to keep things from getting too discouraging.  It would make a good study for anyone who is experiencing hurt from church people or church organizations, I especially appreciated the authors addressing the rise of individualism/consumerism in the modern church. Pride and preferences are causing many churches problems with relationships and with ministry--and it needs to stop!

I received a free review copy from Blogging for Books for my honest opinion.  I am impressed and will be placing a copy of The Bridezilla of Christ in my church's library.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Children's Books from Worthy Publishing

Children need story time. Fortunately, they also enjoy that time spent with a parent and a good book.   These two new board books by Mary Manz Simon offer delightful rhyming stories your child will probably memorize quickly--and still enjoy hearing you read again and again! The illustrations by Lizzie Walkley are beautifully detailed with flora and fauna as well as whimsical children and parents. 

These sturdy board books have unique layered cut-outs, perfect for little fingers to grasp as they turn pages.  If you want something more special than a typical board book, these are just the ticket.

I received free review copies of God Made the Moon and God Made the Sun from the publisher for my honest assessment.